Zora Neale Hurston was born in
Hurston's literary work captured the attention of Charles Spurgeon Johnson, founder of Opportunity Magazine. Based on the merit of her work, he invited Hurston to come to
Hurston's "Sweat," written in 1926, portrays two primary influences in her life. The first influence was Hurston's childhood town of
"Sweat" is influenced not only by Hurston's childhood town but also by her relationship with her employer, Fannie Hurst. Hurston met the writer Hurst at
The "Gilded Six Bits," written in 1933, was influenced by Hurston's anthropological studies and her rocky relationships in marriage. Hurston first began her anthropological studies after she graduated with a B.A. Degree in 1928, from
Hurston's difficulty in marriages was another contribution to Hurston's story. Hurston was married and divorced twice. Her first marriage, on May 19, 1927, was to Herbert Sheen, a jazz pianist, singer, and medical student; the two divorced shortly after on July 7, 1931. Hurston's rocky marriage occurred just prior to the writing of "The Gilded Six-Bits" which portrays a marriage replete with infidelity and hatred. In "The Gilded Six-Bits," Missie's infidelity tests the strength of the marriage with Joe, a marriage which ultimately weathers the storm. Perhaps the marriage in "The Gilded Six-Bits" is spared because, despite Hurston's hardships in her own marriages, she saw marriage as an important institution capable of providing possibilities in life.
Hurston's stories "Sweat" and "The Gilded Six-Bits" are influenced by her life as an African-American woman in the Harlem Renaissance. The greatest influence in Hurston's life for "Sweat" was the economical situation in her small childhood town of